Buckle up: Police kicking off ‘Click It or Ticket’ seat belt enforcement campaign

Kansas law says anyone in the front seat has to wear a seat belt, and if a law enforcement officer sees that not happening, he or she can pull you over for that alone, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol summary. Same goes for kids an officer sees unrestrained in a car.

And besides all that, law enforcement reminds, seat belts save lives.

For the next two weeks — including Memorial Day weekend — Lawrence police and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office are going to be looking extra hard for seat-belt infractions, and ticketing violators. Both announced in a press release or on social media that they’re among law enforcement agencies participating in the “Click It or Ticket” national seat belt enforcement campaigns today (Monday) through June 3. The effort is supported by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

“The goal is to reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries that occur when unrestrained vehicle occupants are involved in traffic crashes,” the Lawrence Police Department said in a release. “Officers assigned to this specialized enforcement will be vigorously enforcing seatbelt laws, as well as distracted driving and other traffic safety violations around the clock and will be especially vigilant at night because the percentage of unrestrained crash deaths is highly increased at night.”

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, enforcement of the adult safety belt law became a “primary law” in 2010, and the law enables officers to stop and ticket the driver of any passenger vehicle if either the driver or the front-seat passenger is observed not wearing a seat belt. The same law also applies to anyone under 18. The highway patrol provides more information — including details about child safety and booster seat laws — on its website, kansashighwaypatrol.org.

Last year, the fine for not wearing a seat belt went up from $10 to $30 under a new state law. A Child Passenger Safety Act violation will cost you a $60 fine, plus court costs.

— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.


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